Monday, June 25, 2012

Brother Caleb, Chipped Tooth, and Atheists

Hello hello!
What a week! It was good, busy, hot and humid. This weekend was Stake Conference and to my surprise my Mission President and his wife, President and Sister Perry, were there.

What made this even better was the fact that my brother also lives here in my stake. So the Perry's were able to see my brother and I side by side (I was tempted to put my tag on my brother to see if they'd notice anything). It was a pleasant visit.

 Amongst other events this past week I was able to catch of glimpse of the beach (which killed me), I chipped a wonderful portion of my tooth, and had a not so pleasant conversation with a couple of atheists. It was an eventful week and my journal is full.

After my conversation with the atheists (and fuming a little as well) I was able to reflect on the complete difference in our lives. I had something to look forward to after I die; they had something to dread. I had purpose in my life; they had no drive to progress and make something of themselves. I knew there was someone who loved me and was looking out for me; they had deceived themselves to think that there was nothing up there and IF there was he didn't care about us humans. I knew of these things because of revelation through the Spirit and because I've witnessed and felt the power of God's Authority, the Holy Priesthood, in my life and in the life of others. But instead of hearing my preach, let's listen to what a prophet has to say. EVERYONE: Watch this -

I add my witness of the divine power and responsibility placed on the shoulders of men here on earth. Treasure this power.

Elder Smith

Monday, June 18, 2012

Hey hey hey!
What's cookin everybody? I sure am! There are high and low days but when it's high it's HOT! I'm so glad my companion likes it cold because we have our AC down in the 60's...heavenly. But anyway! This was a fun week. On one particular day we did quite a bit of walking and tracted right into another Southern Baptist Preacher. No worries though! This guy was awesome. We had a pleasant conversation on his porch, he invited us in for a drink and gave us some water, we talked about each others families and missionary efforts, and he told us that if anytime we need a break, a place of refuge from the weather or if we're in the area just to stop by. I think there's some potential here...I'm looking forward to going back. Overall the people here are nice.

After finishing my personal studies this morning I have come to this conclusion: Jacob is a stud. Seriously read the Book of Jacob in the Book of Mormon. One reason why I like him is because how straight-forward he is. Let me do so now.

"Why will ye die?" (Jacob 6:6) What can you possibly have to gain by rejecting this Gospel and the responsibility that comes with it? Jacob chapter 5 is the famous (and long) "Olive Tree" chapter. If you read that chapter you will see that the time period in which we live is from verse 61 on. In this, the dispensation of the FULLNESS of times, the Lord has sent out his servants, which are "few", to prune, dig, nourish, and reap a final harvest in the Lord's vineyard with "the Lord of the vineyard [laboring] also with them." The Lord has set his hand to recover his people from all over the world and to prepare them for His Son's Second Coming. He needs servants to go forward in His power, might and strength, to work diligently as hard as we possibly can and indeed waste and wear out our lives to the establishing of God's Kingdom here on the earth. "How blessed are they who have labored diligently in His vineyard; and how cursed are they who...reject these words." (Jacob 6:3,8)

As members of THIS church, the one and ONLY true church on the entire face of the earth, you are called to be a light to those in darkness and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things and in all places so that you may stand spotless before the Judgement Seat of Christ and are washed clean from the sins of wickedness of your generation. Everyone: I plead with you to not stand idly by and let opportunities pass by where you can uplift a fellow brother. Repent and serve God with full purpose of heart and "cleave unto God as he cleaveth unto you." Why will you destroy yourselves? Will you reject my words? Will you reject the words of the prophets? Even after being nourished by the good word of God will you reject all these witnesses? You may say that you don't but actions speak much louder than words. "Preach the Gospel always; use words if necessary."

What kind of examples are you setting for your friends, acquaintances, neighbors, and your own children? Don't you know that by rejecting this truth, this responsibility, through your actions...or rather through your lack of action, that you will, through the power of the resurrection, stand before that Almighty God and stand shameful and guilty before Him? The great Plan of Redemption has been laid before you and you have been blessed. To you who is given much, much is required now at your hand and you will be judged according to your diligence, and stand accountable of your stewardship. Don't deny that you know these thing for you and I will stand face to face at the great and dreadful bar of God and my words, with all the words of the prophets, will stand as witnesses against you.
There is so much to lose and time is running out.
This is my witness in the name of the Great Judge Jesus Christ. Amen.
Elder Smith

Monday, June 11, 2012

Hey hey hey!

How's all yall doin? Just FYI: It has become part of my everyday vocabulary to use yall, all yall, and other Southern terms in my every day speech, so don't be surprised when you see those in my letters. :) Again, another great report that the work is going good here in this part of the vineyard. We have a couple new investigators and they're great! For one of them, there is a lot of service to be done in and around his house so we stay pretty busy. I think my fear of spiders in going away because I'm used to finding them crawl up my leg and arms every time I move something outside and now I don't flinch. Of course, they've only been the size of a pea but...anyway. Things are going great here.

Mama holding baby "Elder Smith"
His father going through his "Ensign"

So, guess what! You're a child of God. LITERALLY! Isn't that cool? Seriously, stop for a second and think, "He is literally my Dad. I'm literally His kid in the very sense of the word. We're one big family!" Yeah...pretty cool.

"Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device." (Acts 17:29) When you think of God do you think of Him as some distant being who plopped us here on earth and said, "Have fun"? Or do you think yourself as the child of a Supreme Parent, who, out of care and love for us, gives us the opportunity to become like Him? In an effort to teach us, prepare us and remind us of our roots and the grand scheme of things, He's given us something to represent, however imperfect it may seem, what His role is, and our relationship with Him. He's given us an earthly Dad. Someone who, like Heavenly Father, raises us, loves us, corrects us, and protects us all in an effort to provide us with happiness in our life. True, not everyone who takes upon themselves the responsibility of Fatherhood live up to their duty and some even throw such responsibility away. They will stand accountable before their Great Patriarch for the choices they made, but that does not diminish the fact the family is the eternal unit of Heaven and that a loving father stands as our guide back to Him. Let me declare here and now, not in a spirit of boasting or arrogance, but of that of gratitude and respect, that I have been blessed to have a great example of Fatherhood in my life. Who I am and the choices I make have been influenced greatly by what things I have observed and learned from my father.

"My father, your father, God the Father
Will always be there to take care of our bothers
1 mistake, 2 mistakes, 3 mistakes, 4
Your father will be there forevermore.

Our enemies, his enemies, they are one in the same
He is there to protect us from their dangerous games
He is there to love us when we are injured in fun
And to make the injurers feel shameful & run.

Fathers are special they are one of a kind
Even if it seems they don't have your things in mind.
I can tell you now that I love my father dearly
Especially since I know I'm in his prayers so there is no need for fearing." - Poet: Connor Fletcher

Elder Smith - Right after receiving mission call
with his "excited" parents...

I love you Dad.

Elder Smith

Monday, June 4, 2012

New Assignment...New Companion...

Meet new companion...just out of the MTC
Elder Fletcher
Howdy yall!
I'm doing fantastic! This past week has been great. I've lost quite a bit of sleep but it's all good! I had to go up to Richmond on Wednesday morning for a Trainers meeting in preparation for transfer meeting on Thursday when I'd meet my new companion and trainee. My new companion is Elder Fletcher straight out of the MTC and he is awesome! I'm really going to enjoy working with him.

The best day of the week was Sunday, however, for we had an investigator come to church (and we weren't expecting him to come at all! We hadn't seen him last week) and a less-active who brought his non-member wife. But it was great because fast and testimony meeting was AMAZING! It lasted an hour and a half but that's because everyone wanted to share their testimony. That was the best fast and testimony meeting I've ever been to. The rest of the day was great as well. We did some good ol traditional tracting and my companion did great on his first door approach. We found a couple good potentials and also set up a dinner appointment with one investigator. AH! So good I don't know how to put everything down.

In Gospel Essentials class, we started discussing commandments and how important they are. There were several different opinions thrown around and some made me worry. I wish everyone would realize that YOUR OPINION DOESN'T MATTER when it comes to the matter of God's commandments. His Will is the only thing that matters. Why? Let's talk about it.

Why does God give us commandments? A few typical answers: "Because they help us to be happy.", "Because It will help us." "Because He loves us." does giving us commandments show that He cares? "For behold, this is my work and my glory, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." (Moses 1:39). Ok, He wants us to return to Him. Got it. How do commandments help us? "And again, I say unto you, I give unto you a new commandment, that you may understand my will concerning you; Or, in other words, I give unto you directions how you may act before me, that it may turn to you for your salvation." (D&C 82:8-9) "For he who is not able to abide the law of the Celestial Kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory." (D&C 88:22). In order to enter the Celestial KINGDOM one must abide by its law. The law that God himself abides by; the commandments or "directions how you may act" so YOU can return with Him.

Consider the words of President George Albert Smith," When I was a child I recognized, or thought I did, that the commandments of the Lord were His laws and regulations for my guidance. I thought I recognized in the disobedience to those laws that punishment would follow, and as a child I presume I may have felt that the Lord had so arranged affairs and so ordained matters in this life that I must obey certain laws or swift retribution would follow. But as I grew older I have learned the lesson from another viewpoint, and now to me the laws of the Lord, so called, the counsels contained in the Holy Scriptures, the revelations of the Lord to us in this day and age of the world, are but the sweet music of the voice of our Father in heaven in His mercy to us. They are but the advice and counsel of a loving parent, who is more concerned in our welfare than earthly parents can be, and consequently that which at one time seemed to bear the harsh name of law to me is now the loving and tender advice of an all-wise Heavenly Father. And so I say it is not hard for me to believe that it is best for me to keep the commandments of God."

"Oh, God will understand if I don't do that perfectly!" What a weak and feeble excuse for one who is and will be unable to "abide a celestial glory."

"Today is the beginning of eternal happiness or eternal disappointment for you." - George Albert Smith

Elder Smith

Saturday, June 2, 2012

April Transfer Picture

I follow Elder Smith's mission President's wife's "Facebook" page...and discovered "Elder Smith" in the background of one of her, I am posting it! (smile)

This picture was in regards to 
"April transfers"...
You can see him on the "right side of this picture"
Red tie..talking to "3" other Elders